After both falling to surprise package Costa Rica, only one team will qualify for the round of 16 at Arena das DunasBy Luis Herrera in Natal
One former World Cup champion down, one more will go home. Italy and Uruguay will meet this Tuesday at Arena das Dunas to decide who will join Costa Rica in progressing from Group D to the round of 16 in Brazil.
Both teams have three points after beating England and losing against the Central American surprise package, but the Azzurri hold the advantage thanks to their better goal difference, so they just need a draw to stay alive in the tournament.
However, Uruguay arrive with momentum on their side after Luis Suarez’s great display that led them to victory against England, on his return from injury.
“The team did good things in the game against a rival that caused us much trouble”, said coach Oscar Tabarez in press conference. “These things are the base that we will to try to repeat and, if possible, improve against Italy.”
For the European side, a defeat in this match would mean their second group phase elimination in a row, but Gianluigi Buffon is confident his nation will bounce back after being upset by Costa Rica.
“Historically, we tend to have a bad second game. But usually Italy performs at a high level in the third game", said the goalkeeper.
Uruguay will likely repeat the formation that started against England, while Italy are considering a tactical change, going from the 4-1-4-1 of their first two games to a 3-4-2-1 or 3-5-2.
“We are open to all possibilities. One of our best qualities is that we are chameleons and I hope this versatility will help us to reach all the results we are aiming for”, added Buffon. “It would be a novelty, with all the benefits and risks that go with that. In case this choice is made, what happens on the field will tell us if it was the right decision.”